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School of Education and Human Development University of Colorado Denver

School of Education and Human Development
 

Cindy Gutierrez

Director, Urban Community Teacher Education


My story:

Teaching is at the core of who I am. You might even say it is in my blood. My grandmother, who is now 85 years old, spent her life as a teacher, starting out in a one-room school house and continuing on to teach elementary school for nearly 40 years.

I don't remember a time that I didn't want to be a teacher when I "grew up". To this day, my kindergarten teacher is still my role-model for teaching. Her name was Mrs. Hartman and she stood all of 4'2" she used to joke that she couldn't teach anything but Kindergarten because she would never be taller than her students otherwise! But never underestimate what comes in small packages. Mrs. Hartman truly exemplified the qualities of a master teacher. She cared deeply about each and every one of her students, learning about us as individuals, our diverse backgrounds and connecting with our families. She also held extremely high expectations for all of us, building on our strengths to help us improve in the areas we needed most in a way that made us believe we could accomplish anything. She loved to laugh and she greeted us daily with the warmest smile when we came bounding through her door. No matter who you were, you knew you were something special in the eyes of Mrs. Hartman. And ever since, I could not think of doing anything more honorable with my life than teaching.

Since my Kindergarten beginnings, I've taught neighborhood kids, stuffed animals, and anyone who would come into my "classroom". I've had the honor of formally teaching elementary school, middle school and high school and my journey continues today as I am passionate about creating a program where teacher candidates thrive in their preparation to become exceptional teacher leaders who will continue to change the world.

My students at University of Colorado Denver:

Are amazing!They are individuals with unique personal stories and an unmatched desire to truly impact the lives of children in our urban and diverse schools. I and my colleagues in teacher education have the honor to guide them on their incredible journey, continually getting a glimpse at what the future world of education can and will be.

Classes/Professional Learning I lead at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education & Human Development:

  • Imagine the Possibilities (Freshman Seminar Course) - TED 1111: TEACH
  • Teacher Education Site Council
  • PDS Leadership Institute

My research interests:

  • Teacher Leadership
  • Professional Development Schools
  • Teacher Candidate Development

My hobbies:

I have a very busy family life with two young children and an incredible husband. Most of our free time is spent enjoying one another's company and exploring the world with our little ones--- camping, taekwondo, baseball and hockey games, backyard barbecues with family and friends, and planning our next family adventure (i.e., vacation!). When I get a few quiet moments to myself, I love to play the piano and read.

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